(514-10-25) Literary Friendships
Summary: Bastien has taken Braelynn's favorite reading nook in Sarum. Hmmmph!
Date: 10-25-514
Related: http://knightlytales.wikidot.com/log:514-10-27-packing-up-for-winter
braelynn bastien 

Boar's Beard Sarum

Lined with dark wood, the atmosphere here generally matches the wood. Smoke filled on some days, this tavern can fill up quickly once night falls. Usually music is provided by some traveling musician or another. The name is echoed in the motif, with several wooly Boar's heads adorning the walls. Namely, a large one above the entrance from the street outside and a matching one over the bar itself. A pair of smaller such heads are over the mantle of the fireplace here. This is the best place to get a few drinks and, some evenings, a decent meal even.

Morning in Sarum. With the autumn starting to slowly give way to winter, there's the usual hustle and bustle of those that need to take care of a last few items. Among those is Bastien, but for the moment, he's taking a break - after all, his task is complete. With a tankard of mead not too close to his book, the knight is sitting with a hand opening the book open as he reads, idly snacking on some bread as he scrolls over the page, eyes dancing as he moves along the words.

Early morning in Sarum, and Braelynn is already headed to one of her favorite places, The Boar's Beard. Why this, of all places, is her favorite even she doesn't know, but the place certainly holds some fond memories. She waves to a server, and calls to the woman, "Bread and cheese, and some hot water, please!" Braelynn has a large unwieldy book tucked under her arm, and she makes her way to her favorite seat, which happens to be a quiet corner near the fire, or relatively quiet, considering she's in a tavern. She blinks as she realizes someone has already taken her table. She stops for a moment, furrowing her brow and slowly begins making her way in his general direction.

Bastien checked his awareness of 8, he rolled 1.

It's the quiet swish for skirts that gives Braelynn away. And he chose the spot for the same reason she does - it's quiet, relatively speaking, and the light is pleasant enough to read by without being harsh. As she grows close enough to remain proper, the knight lifts his head and offers a smile. "It's the scroll-herder and future law speaker." he offers with a chuckle and then eyes her book. "Quite an impressive load you carry there, m'lady, would you like to settle it down?" There's plenty of room at the table, after all. His meal is nearly finished, his book is several pages in, a clue that he's been here quite a while.

She tilts her head and seems to consider the invitation for a moment, and then she smiles and makes her way closer. She drops the book on the table with as much grace as possible, and dips her head in a polite greeting to the knight that has stolen the best seat for reading. She pushes the book aside, and slides into a chair with a laugh and the comment, "A poor scroll herder, apparently. If it weren't for you I would be one scroll lighter and might never know the law regarding a sheep that escapes and eats a villager's flower garden." She waves her hand, and it's possible she's just kidding, though she tries to look quite serious.

"And then when you came across that situation, it would have been a terrible thing, and I would have felt the embarassment all the way back to Falt and then guilt for my failure to assist such a lovely Lady in distress, for now she finds herself with sheep and flowers and no way to know the proper rule of law." Bastien says with a slight smirk as he sets his hand on his book to hold his place as he rises for a moment, polietly allowing Braelynn to claim a seat before he takes his own again - well, her favorite seat, but he's not aware of this, as her bottom hasn't quite formed the wood just to her yet.

A blush spreads across Braelynn's cheeks and she says, dubiously, "Well, I don't know about lovely, but I was certainly a lady in distress and you came to my aid. For that I am grateful." She peers over at his book and asks curiously, "More poetry for you today?" It is then that the serving girl approaches with bread, cheese, and a tankard of steaming hot water. She lifts her head to give the girl a warm smile and says to her politely, "Thank you!" She settles in, and pulls back the cover of the book, one in latin, and obviously more of a textbook on human anatomy. Inside the cover of the book is small folded piece of parchment, which she retrieves, and unfolds, sprinkling the herbs into the hot water so they can steep. It is then that she turns her attention back to the poetry reading knight.

Delight blooms on Bastien's face. "You know of the book, then!" he says, obviously pleased by this idea as he chuckles. "I prefer to be well-rounded in the items I read - I suppose I'm a glutton for a good book, though such might be considered a sin, one I must ask forgiveness for. Much as Eve could not resist the fruit of knowledge, surely I must be her descendent." he admits with a smile as he glances at the book that she has opened and his brow arches upwards. "A law reader and a healer? And a ginger to boot. My, you are full of surprise and wonder - I'm sure your husband would disagree with you on your loveliness, as well. Or paramor, as the case may be?" He asks. "The young man that gave me such a look yesterday when I assisted you, he seemed rather.. possessive."

"No, he's not… I never met him before that day!" She says this in surprise, and shakes her head. "Sir Bradwyn is married, but not to me!" She flushes with the scandal of such a suggestion and shakes her head. "I have no husband, and no paramour to speak of. There was a marriage arranged for me, but that should have happened months ago, and I've not heard from him. I suspect he's… run off with someone perhaps. He was a bit of a cad, from what I understand." She glances at the book and grins, "I'm much more intersted in the healing arts than law. I'm only learning law because Earl Robert requested it of me. I find science to be much more fascinating."

Bastien checked his intrigue of 12, he rolled 17.

"I see. Perhaps he is a relation then. The glare he spared me would be positively withering in most cases." Bastien responds as he grins a little. "You spend so much time in blushing bloom, I wonder if you are in fact part plant, and not just mortal, Lady Braelynn." he teases her slightly as he considers her words. "A shame, my regrets on a broken betrothal, though it sounds as if you have avoided a possible heartache. As such a cad would surely not appreciate what a rare and beautiful mind he has found. Still, to want to learn of both - that is quite the feat." There's a moment's pause as the knight tries to remember if he had heard of a bann between Braelynn and this cad, but he shakes his head, apparently it slipped his thoughts.

Braelynn tilts her head and says, "I really haven't a clue what happened. I suspect he would have been pleasant enough." She smiles and glances up at the knight and blushes even deeper, "You, dear sir, have been reading so much of your poetry that your words are flowery of their own right. I assure you, I'm quite mortal." She indicates the book, "Healing is my passion. Researching, in particular." Braelynn's pale green eyes rest on Bastien's and she says, "What is your passion, Sir? Poetry or bravery on the battle field? It seems odd that they should exist in the same individual."

"I half expected him to draw his sword and challenge me on the spot should I have said one untoward word." Bastien says with a slight chuckle, marking his spot so he can close his book and pay attention to the conversation, his own blues a darker color that offsets her green. "When I was born, my mother had a terrible time, as I was in breach. My birth guaranteed I'd not have a brother or sister. My mother and father were both knights, they wished to see me follow in the field, and were disappointed when much of my youth was spent in illness and weakness, so they had started to adjust me to a life of stewardship and possible service of the cloth." he explains, before he lifts his mead to take a drink. "However, as I came into adulthood, I recovered and grew - and filled out." Turning his attention back to his book cover, he shrugs. "Then I was able to be what my parents wished me to be. I'm a knight, m'lady, but I do still find a healthy lust for the written word."

Those pale green eyes seem to study the knight for a moment, and she tilts her head, finally declaring, "You look perfectly healthy to me." She then shakes herself out of her thoughs visibly, and lifts the tea for a sip, blinking her eyes as she finds it still too hot, and places it back on the table. "I certainly have no idea why he reacted so. My own brother would likely have thrown me in your general direction." She chuckle at this and explains, "He's a newlywed and I suspect I visit too often for his tastes, but then perhaps that's why I continue to do it." There is a gleam of mischief in her eyes as she says this and she seems to be relaxing. This corner is, after all, where she is most comfortable in Sarum. She asks curiously, "You're a christian then, Sir Bastien? I thought they discouraged pursuits of knowledge such as poetry and science."

"Perhaps you should find someone to pursue the newlywed way with so that you do not have to interupt your brother as much. However, congratulation on your new sister." Bastien comments, apparently the comment on him has gone above his head and he didn't catch the possible double-entendree, as he considers her question. "It is frowned upon, yes.. but as it is research, as you said, it has certain liberties. I was thought to be a candidate for the priesthood once, and was trained in such. Once you learn of something - are you supposed to turn your back on it?" It's an honest question as he offers his drink so that she may cool her tongue after finding her drink too hot.

Braelynn's hand flutters to her mouth to cover it at his words, and that blush returns, making bright pink splotches on the pale skin of her cheeks. She stammers for a moment, "I… well…. " and then she lifts his drink and takes a gulp of it, not to cool her lips but to hide her face. When she lowers the cup and pushes it back to him she seems much more guarded, more proper, in fact. "I've found myself curious of Christianity lately. I had a question for a priest, but every time I went to the chapel it was empty." She is happy to change the subject to something much safer, and this is obvious.

There may be a moment of amusement at the comical way that Braelynn suddenly needs the peach mead that he was drinking, however, Bastien notices the change in demeanor, and the knight's smile becomes more neutral - perhaps in deference to the young woman's feelings as he considers. "I am no priest and only had the most rudementary training." he clarifies as he considers his mug, in particular the lip stain that she has left upon it, and he's careful to avoid it so as not to give her the wrong impressions. "I can try to answer your questions, but I confess to no expertise."

Braelynn seems to consider this for a moment and then she leans foward, speaking very quietly, "I was wondering… the gods have cursed you.. and you convert to Christianity, does the curse follow you, or do you revert to not being their concern any longer, and now become the concern of the god that the Christians worship." She leans back and lifts her tea again, blowing on it to cool it, her hands cradling the warm metal. "Or perhaps my question is silly in general, and they would have simply laughed at me."

Critical Success!
Bastien checked his religion of 5, he rolled 5.

"Of what type of curse do you mean?" Bastien asks, curious at the idea of what malidy may be vexing her. "As part of the becoming a Christian, Lady Braelynn is the act of the baptismal. As you are entered into the blessed water, the sins of your past are cleansed away so that you are renewed before the eyes of God. As such, any curse, pox, or vex that may have been placed upon you shall be forgiven as well - as it would be a sin to believe in such a curse, as one would still believe in an idol other than our Lord and Saviour, m'lady."

The smile that she perpetually wears fades slightly as she says, "This past year has been…. difficult." She doesn't elaborate, but she seems to go into her own thoughts for a brief moment, and she takes another sip of her tea. Finding the temperature perfect this time, she licks her lips and returns her gaze to him, "Things are better now, though. The things lost will never be replaced, but life does go on, and one simply must make the best of what they have. Don't you agree?"

"If it is one thing that I know is true of both of our faiths, m'lady - is that God or the gods or goddesses of your faith do not present an unconquerable challenge or one that is not meant to strengthen those things that we may find as a weakness in ourselves." Reaching across the table, Bastien briefly takes her hands in his, giving them a comforting squeeze as he continues. "Things lost are never truly lost as long as you treasure and honor their memory, m'lady, and much like your tea - which you may have found uncomfortable at first, once cooled with the help of a friend, then becomes tolerable, and eventually something you can find fondness in." he completes as he releases her hands to withdraw to his side of the table.

Braelynn flushes as he takes her hand, and her eyes become shiny with tears that she does not dare shed, particularly not in public. She lets her eyes lower to her tea, and after a moment of deep breaths she says quietly, "I doubt there will ever come a day that I will think of my brother's death as anything but heartbreaking, but your sentiment is valued, and I hope you are right." She lifts her eyes, the moisture still hanging heavy in them, but she does smile. She pulls the hand into her lap and says to him, "You would have made a good priest I think." The smile increases slightly and she watches him.

Noticing her tears, Bastien reaches into his pouch, pulling out a small strip of cloth. "I still suffer terribly in the spring from sneezes." he explains with a little laugh, as he offers the clean cloth for her eyes. "A death in battle?" he inquires gently. "Or by other means?" The comment about him making a good priest colors his cheeks and he laughs. "I'm not sure that would have been the case - I am much too… worldly.. for the pursuit of the cloth." he admits. "Open to the ideals of the world as opposed to the faith."

Braelynn takes the cloth, and dabs at her eyes, but the tears never actually fall. They just well up in her eyes, and are removed by the cloth. She tilts her head and looks at him, considering carefully before she begins to speak. "There were two battles that happened nearly simultaneously. I was at one, acting as a healer. I was unaware that my brother was at another. Someone I cared about fell in battle and I ran into battle to help pull her to safety. She should have died, but I saved her." She looks at him and says seriously, "So the morrigan took my brother instead." The smile turns sad as she says, "I blamed myself. If only I had been there to save him."

Bastien considers the woman's words, turning thoughtful. "Answer this for me, Braelynn, if I may be brazen to call you by your given name?" he asks, as he glances towards his tankard and brings it close to him. Then he pulls her cup of tea to him as well. "Consider the tea your brother. Close, comforting, something you would understand. And the mead is the woman you cared for and pulled to safety. If they had fallen together - would your brother, the tea, demanded that you tend to him first?" the knight asks.

"Or would you think that he would have made you take the mead, to save the woman who had fallen, so that she may continue to live?" Bastien looks up, searching her eyes and face as they discuss the idea. "To have run into battle in the first place was a brave thing to do. However, you are one person, and you cannot put yourself in the position to blame yourself for the will of the gods. You were where you were because you needed to be - and that Lady Knight will be forever thankful for your presence to save and heal her of her injury." he explains.

"You cannot blame yourself for the inability to divide yourself between a woman you cared for as a friend, and a family member. It is a terrible decision for anyone to make, but do you believe in your heart that your brother would have expected you to do the same should he had been there as well?"

Braelynn checked her flirting of 3, she rolled 2.

She seems to consider his words carefully before she nods. She says quietly, "I did the best I could with what was presented to me. Had they both fallen and I had to choose. Perhaps I would have made different choices, but we'll never know." She takes a deep breath and pushes the mead toward Bastien, and then pulls her own tea closer. Her eyes rest on his and she seems to be studying him, as though she is trying to figure him out. She seems to consider his words for a long time before she says anything further. She smiles, the blush returning to her cheeks as she says, "You may call me Braelynn, I think I'd like that." Her smile is warm and inviting and there is something intimate in the way she says it, though nothing has changed. They are still in a public tavern, surrounded by food, and their books.

The way she says it does cause Bastien to blush, however, he takes a drink of his mead to keep the subject on the topic at hand. "Then the first thing you must do is forgive yourself for what happened. You are not responsible for the death of your brother." he says simply, lifting his eyes to meet her again. He speaks quietly, intimately. There's no fire or brimstone in his speech, just a simple understanding of the facts presented to him. "Once you have found your forgiveness.. you must next forgive your brother. He would have never forced you to choose between him and the Lady Knight, Braelynn." he offers, before he draws in a breath. "Finally, you must forgive the woman whose life you save. You may not believe you harbor ill towards her, but you may find yourself believeing that if she had not fallen, you would have been able to reach your brother and that her life came at his cost. That is not true, for it is how it wa intended to be. If she is truly close to you, you must make sure you have forgiven her of any blame in your brother's death. Once you have done these three things, you will find balance within your own heart again."

These words strike closer to home than he knows, and the tears begin to well up again. She opens her mouth to speak, but nothing comes out, and instead she reaches for her tea and lifts it to take a very long drink. She places the tankard back on the table in front of her and draws in a deep breath. She says simply, "Your words are wiser and more appropriate than you seem to realize." With that her eyes lift to him, and she tilts her head, saying, "I believe that even if I am to blame, I paid the price, and it was much too high. Things happen as they must." She settles her gaze on him and blinks a few times before she says, "I'm sorry. We've just met and here I am pouring my heart out to you. Though you must be used to that. You seem like the sort that people talk to."

His hand reaches to take hers - not in a lustful way, but as a Priest would to comfort the heart of someone who is feeling the pain of confession. Bastien stands and crosses the table, settling down next to her, his hand in hers, as his other hand covers it as well. "It is taught that there is a way that feels right of man, but it only leads to death. The energy that it takes to blame and smother yourself in your own loathing takes away so much of your heart that you cannot glow and be the blossom that you so easily show when you smile and allow your heart to be free, Braelynn." Bastien offers quietly, studying her face, and reaches up to use his thumb to brush away a tear that threatens her cheek so. "However, you must relieve yourself of your self-imposed transgressions and actions. As I am not pagan, I cannot be the one to forgive you such a trespass to your gods, however, I can pray for you, and be hopeful that you will find the guidance to remove this terrible weight from your breast before it crushes your heart and leaves you empty and incapable of love."

Braelynn's pale green eyes follow him as he takes her hand, and she starts to pull away, but only for a second, and then she allows her hand to remain in his, squeezing his hand lightly. They continue to follow him as he moves around the table and sits next to her. She swivels in her chair to face him slightly, and her eyes remain on his. Her voice is quiet as she responds, "Thank you, Sir Bastien for your prayers. I am.. working through it and healing." Her smile widens and she squeezes his hand slightly harder, though it is still quite gentle, "Things are better for me now, than they were. Most days I barely think of it anymore. Perhaps seeing you talking about it dredged up emotions that aren't completely gone. I'm sorry to have put such a cloud on your morning."

Feeling her squeeze, Bastien misreads the thought and releases her hand from his as he considers. "If they are dredged up, they are on the surface, and could still be yet removed. If you hold ill to the woman whose life you saved, my I suggest you write and forgive her if you cannot speak to her in person? I know that such a thing may be difficult to ask, but it will help with your heart." he offers quietly. "And know that you have already been forgiven any trespass you believe you have made - as long as you know you have done right in your heart, then you should find yourself and your soul whole and hale." With his counsel completed for the moment, he moves from the seat next to her to return to the more proper place across from her. "Though if I am bringing you such pain by my mere presence, perhaps I should take my reading elsewhere and allow you to read in comfort and peace." He may look serious, and it's rather hard to tell if he is teasing her or not.

Braelynn frowns as she hears these works, and she, herself sits up more properly, her hands reaching down to smooth her skirts. She seems to consider his words, and her head tilts to the left as she weighs his words carefully. She pulls the hot tea closer to her and she says, "You have also given me great comfort, but I understand if you'd like to read in peace. I suspect your words only sting because there are truths in them that you cannot possibly know." She takes a sip of her tea, and then places the tankard on the table. She pulls her own book toward her and says, "If one of us should go it should certainly be me. I'm the one that intruded on your time, not the other way around." She pulls the book into her arms, cradling it there as says, "My apologies for interrupting your reading with my morosity, Sir Bastien. You must think me quite the bore."

Bastien checked his modest of 13, he rolled 4.
Bastien checked his honest of 10, he rolled 13.
Critical Fail!
Bastien checked his deceitful of 10, he rolled 20.

"I.. do not find you a bore. You are a very attractive woman that is going through a trying time. I had hoped to bring you comfort.. but it seems I am only agitating the situation." Bastien admits with a sigh and then shakes his head. "And no, your food has but just arrived and has gone untouch. My own meal has been completed, I would not wish to drive you away. I can save the rest of my reading for when I return to Falt and need something to keep me entertained during the winter." he announces as he rises to his own feet, abandoning her favorite seat.

He picks up his book, considering it for a moment, and then says quietly, quoting something he has read recently.

"Let those love now who never loved before,
Let those who always lov'd, now love the more."

With that, he offers a warm smile, and a bow of his head. "Your heart is a rare bird indeed, and once free, I hope that he who finds it alight on him knows what a true and beautiful soul he has found." With that, he turns to head out of the tavern, leaving behind his half-empty tankard.

Braelynn turns her head to watch him go with a sigh. She turns back to the table before he is all the way out the door, and she lets the heavy book land on the table with a 'whoomph' sound. She gets up then, and moves to the corner seat- her favorite. She glances up toward the door as she pulls the book toward her and opens it. She rests her elbow on the table, and her chin on her hand as she looks down at the book, though her eyes are faraway as she considers something. She's obviously not reading the book.

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